It wasn’t your typical college weekend.
More than 2,200 Liberty University students and staff filled 44 buses traveling from Lynchburg, Virginia, to the nation’s capital for Prayer March 2020 on Saturday.
Neither exams nor the threat of COVID-19 prevented the energetic students—donning matching navy blue parkas—from coming to pray along the 1.8-mile route.
“Franklin Graham came to us at Liberty like a week ago, and I was pretty inspired by his heart for the Lord,” said Anna Pyron, a 19-year-old sophomore.
These buses are filled with Christians committed to prayer and to God’s best for this nation. They’re college students today – and the leaders of tomorrow. They’re Champions for Christ. #PrayerMarch2020 @LibertyU pic.twitter.com/k9i9cTcAaF
— Jerry Prevo (@JerryPrevoLU) September 26, 2020
She and her friend, Alyssa Minerva, who’s also a 19-year-old sophomore, knelt down on the lawn beside the World War II Memorial—the second of seven stops on the march—to pray for law enforcement, the military and their families.
“I just thought the idea of peacefully going to pray—that being the sole idea, not to protest an idea or support an idea other than Jesus—is amazing,” Pyron said. “There’s no perfect political ideology. … The only perfect thing is Jesus, and that’s what we need right now.”
Minerva added that she’s looking to God for direction on how to vote this presidential election, which will be her first. “I really like the idea of praying over the nation, because I think prayer has such a powerful impact,” she said.
On Saturday, the students heard Graham speak again—along with various other Christian leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence, Anne Graham Lotz, Alveda King and Michele Bachmann.
“My prayer is not any more important than your prayer,” Graham told the sea of tens of thousands at the first stop, the Lincoln Memorial. “Let’s pray every step we take, and let’s claim every step for God and rededicate the city for Him.”
With approximately 4,000 steps along the march’s route, there were plenty of opportunities to surrender this nation and its capital to the Lord.
In just 19 years of life, Pyron has already walked with the Lord through life’s challenges.
While Pyron’s pre-mature baby brother fought for his life, her family went before the Lord in prayer. After open heart surgery, he’s now a healthy four-year-old.
“I would tell the future generation: Our hope lies in Jesus,” the criminal justice major attested. “There’s no political party or person that can bring you through a traumatic event.”
Minerva understands that, too. She grew up in a single-parent home after her father passed away.
“I’ve just seen [my mom] fervently pray throughout the years and pray for little simple things—even provision—and seeing Him work and putting people in our lives to provide for us along the way,” Minerva said. “And when you pray and really quiet yourself and speak with the Lord, it can be really powerful.”
She admitted that many people—herself included—don’t pray nearly as often as they should, especially in such a difficult time for the nation.
“With everything going on, it seems really hopeless or like you don’t know what’s going to happen in the next couple of years,” Minerva explained.
“But … if you lean on the Lord in times like these, it makes it so much easier. It doesn’t mean that the problems go away or that everything is miraculously fixed or even that it gets better or worse. But knowing that He’ll come back for us one day is such a hopeful thing. This world isn’t the end, you know?”